MASTERS OF THE WALLS

BEIRUT’S GRAFFITI…REVISITED

(Exhibition held within the CIVIL VIOLENCE & WAR MEMORIES event)

Photos by Sune Haugbolle & Houssam Moushaiemesh

Visual Concept and Comments by Fadi Toufiq

@ The Hangar (UMAM D&R)

September 16 – October 1, 2005

The Lebanese have long since understood that graffiti and posters are among the fastest, most economical ways to reach large audiences. While the many splashes of political or “nonpartisan” artwork that color the urban landscape may seem simple and straightforward, a closer examination of these expressions, coupled with an exploration of their significance, reveals a multitude of complex histories, unspoken meanings and esoteric connotations. 

Using two photographic collections of graffiti and posters from 2002 and 2005, Fadi Toufiq escorts visitors to the exhibition on a tour of Beirut’s multi-hued, multi-meaning walls.

Notably, this exhibition parallels and indeed builds on UMAM D&R’s philosophy of using archives and pre-archival materials to tackle artistically subjects that might otherwise become invisible in the world of pure academic research. Moreover, the in-depth research done in support of this project was conducted by the team at UMAM D&R and was based on the organization’s extensive collection. 

This exhibition was also part of a larger event organized by UMAM D&R entitled Civil Violence & War Memories. The overall intent of this initiative was to help the Lebanese learn to unlock, recognize and address the experiences that impacted, and often continue to affect them today.

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